You have planned every bit of your holiday, and have been waiting impatiently for weeks or months for it to arrive. What can go wrong? We all know this instinctively – safety whilst travelling, starting with your accommodation.
Hidden cost of discount offers
These days there are so many discount offers on hotel rooms that it is indeed very tempting to save money by purchasing whatever appears the cheapest. Whilst there are genuine offers out there, some rooms are cheap because there is a risk of your safety being compromised. How will you feel if your valuables are stolen after a day out sightseeing? Memories of any great holiday will be tarnished if you encounter safety issues that threaten your wellbeing.
What should you look for in your hotel accommodation?
When looking for your hotel accommodation, check that it is in a safe and reputable neighbourhood. These days there are many travel guides and online reviews for most destinations with information often available at a more local level. If you are unable to find such information, check with the embassy.
Before making a booking, find out the hotel and room features either at the hotel’s website or by contacting them directly. Features that will enhance security include 24 hour concierge, well lit communal areas, electronic locks on room doors as opposed to old fashioned metal key locks, peephole and deadbolt lock, a safe within the room for your valuables, and a telephone that dials to the outside world in case of emergency.
Seeing pictures of rooms will help but don’t forget to also look at pictures of the communal areas (lobby, hallways and parking) to get a sense of the space and layout in case of the need for emergency evacuation.
How do you stay safe whilst travelling?
Before you set off on your travels, give friends and relatives your itinerary and details of your accommodation, so they can contact you and know your whereabouts.
Once you are there, make sure you are allotted a room that isn’t hidden in a corner or located somewhere that will let thieves operate unnoticed. Staying on a lower floor means that you will be able to get down to the ground quicker in an emergency, but avoid staying on the ground floor, especially if the room has windows or doors that open to the outside.
When taken to your room, check that the telephone is working, locate nearby fire exits, and plan an emergency escape route. Always use the peephole when answering any knocks.
When heading out, create the impression that you are still in by leaving the TV on, hanging the ‘do not disturb’ sign and not using those ‘please make up my room’ signs that blatantly let the world know the room is unattended. Ask the hotel to recommend transport, and have the hotel business card with you. Finally, not disclosing your room number to strangers will also help to keep trouble away.
Photo Credit: Flickr/epSos .de